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Old 11-24-2018, 04:29 AM   #1
German Shepherd Guy
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Question Why a surge protector?

Saw on the list talk about using a surge protector.. I have had two previous TTs and now have a brand new Premier. My first new one. We camp mainly at fairgrounds while showing our German Shepherds. Or at RV campgrounds on the way to a show, which will be at a fair ground. I have never used a surge protector but with a brand new trailer am now curious. It is a 30amp rig. Is there truly a danger when not using one?



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Old 11-24-2018, 05:12 AM   #2
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Think of it as insurance. You may never need it but if you do it could save thousands of dollars.
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Old 11-24-2018, 05:48 AM   #3
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Here is a quote from today's RV Travel newsletter: "So far Mike Sokol’s “Stray Voltage Patrol” (made up of nearly 400 RV Travel readers) has identified dozens of potentially dangerous power pedestals at RV parks across the USA and Canada. Early next year we will post a directory of where they are and what action has been taken to fix them. Over time, we will save many RVers from serious shocks or even electrocution (which happens!). We have created the website RVelectricity.com to help educate RVers about the safe, proper use of electricity. "

What you really want is an "Electrical Management System" rather than just a surge protector. I have one and have personally found several cases of "reverse polarity" on power pedestals.

I personally like the ones made by Progressive Industries, and usually Bestconverter.com seems to have the best prices:
http://www.bestconverter.com/RV-Powe...EMS_c_194.html
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Old 11-24-2018, 05:56 AM   #4
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Search the forum for surge protector or ems and you will find all the reasons, over, and over, and over again. Happy reading!
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Old 11-24-2018, 06:38 AM   #5
German Shepherd Guy
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Thanks guys!
Honestly didn't think of it as a problem but seems I have just not had my number come up yet. Thanks Brent for recommendations. It also would appear that a true protector is far from cheap, but the cost of RVing. We live off the grid for the last 30 years so in our day to day we just never see power fluctuations. I know the guy who owns our power company.


Fortunately it is the end of season so have some time to find a really good one.


Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-24-2018, 07:13 AM   #6
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Why a surge protector?

Two types: portable and hardwired. Portable plugs into the pedestal and trailer plugs into it. Advantages: portable. Disadvantages: they can grow legs if not secured (added expense), if there is an issue during use, you have to walk outside to the pedestal to figure it out.

Hardwired: advantages: you can’t forget to use it, no one knows you have it, with remote display you can get the trouble code while still inside. Disadvantage: costs more and you have to mount it.

I too dodged a bullet for 20 years. I have the hardwired version with remote display, and have returned to previous campgrounds to find they have issues. Portable or hardwired is your choice, but I would say get something.
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Old 11-24-2018, 08:44 AM   #7
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I too never had an EMS on my first RV and do remember not having power at some peds (stayed in all kinds of remote, little RV parks for work) but never knew why; just moved.

I now use a SurgeGuard portable which I like better than the Progressive due to the readout IMO. The drawback to them until recently was that Progressive had a lifetime warranty and SurgeGuard did not; now they do. With the portable it does have the possibility of walking off but if you take some minor, cheap, precautions the likelihood of that happening are remote. I just leave it connected to the power cord all the time when we connect/reconnect. The built ins have to be installed inside and require some rewiring. When you sell/trade the unit you either have to uninstall then reinstall it or let it go, buy another and reinstall again.

You can have a defective power ped and still get power and never know you have a missing ground etc. I won't stay in a site without a ground because I don't want to be the conductor in the event of an issue and fry (or any of my friends/family). I've been to many campgrounds now that have power problems, some very apparent, some not so much. Went to a campground up in the mountains during deer season; plugged in my 50A and one leg was dead with no ground. Went thru the campsite with a meter until I found a ped with correct power (most did not) and set up. A guy in a small 30A trailer pulled in and set up in a site I had checked (one leg of the 50A missing, no ground) plugged his 50/30A adapter in and he was happy. I am sure the one side of power was good but he still had no ground. I advised him of that and he didn't care.... Just sayin that an EMS could easily keep you from cooking your goose....errrr, turkey???
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Old 11-24-2018, 12:03 PM   #8
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I have the Progressive Hard wired EMS. Knock on wood, the only place I had an issue was in my own garage. I have 2 outlets for 110 power, one had a ground wire that had come loose. Switched to 2nd outlet and repaired the second. At least I know it works, would not give me any power until I found a better outlet.
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Old 11-24-2018, 04:19 PM   #9
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I wouldn't even consider plugging in without one. Absolutely invaluable piece of "insurance". I have no problem with the portable plug-in Progressive model, but I do keep it chained and padlocked to the pedestal. As stated above, it's actually an electrical "managagment" system, so it stays ahead of the game, so to speak.
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Old 11-24-2018, 05:42 PM   #10
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It is a must have and first add on to consider. a lot of good points have already been presented, pick one. Think most of us have either Progressive or Surge Guard which I have.
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Old 11-24-2018, 06:17 PM   #11
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Saved my rig once so far. Surge protector tripped due to a bad plug. Its a good investment that can save you a lot of grief. I use a firearm lock, the kind with the long flexible bale to secure mine. The bale is thin enough to fit through a hole in the side of the breaker box. Works great.
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Old 11-25-2018, 02:49 AM   #12
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A surge protector/EMS would have saved me a lot of money if I'd got off my backside and installed one in time.
During our trip this year, we stayed with a friend and he had wired up an extension cord to run from the 50A socket that powers his wife's pottery kiln to a 30A plug to plug our rig into for the night. So I plugged our lead into his extension cord and when I turned the aircon on, it kind of groaned and ran for about 20 seconds and then stopped.
Later on I discovered that our power converter was no longer working, and our blu-ray player was DOA too. No biggies about the blu-ray, but it cost me $300 for a new converter. If I'd had the surge/EMS installed as I had planned to do, i wouldn't have had to replace my converter. I figured out later that he might have swapped the active and neutral in the extension lead. The EMS would have detected that and not allowed the connection.
We live and learn...
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:31 AM   #13
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Another vote for the Progressive Industries EMS. I have their 30 amp hardwired unit in my TT. We see low voltage codes so regularly that I decided to add a Hughes Autoformer, too. The Autoformer boosts voltage so we don’t get the low voltage shut downs anymore.

I’ve never seen a “surge” but one campground did have a pedestal mis-wired which caused a hot skin condition for a neighbor.

One negative for the hardwired version is that you have to plug the trailer into the pedestal for it to let you know if there is a problem. I bought this portable device to check the pedestal even before backing into a site.
https://www.amazon.com/Prime-Product.../dp/B000BRFTH6
It has a typical household 3-prong plug on the back so I just use a dog bone adapter to plug it into the 30A receptacle on the pedestal.
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Old 11-25-2018, 03:04 PM   #14
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In a "prior life", I bred Dachshunds, and was an all breed handler. I also bred and showed Morgan Horses, for 20 +/- years. I spent a lot of time in "Temporary" shore power sites, at fairgrounds from Nova Scotia to Oklahoma, and points south as far as Orlando/Ocala.

"Fairgrounds" are notorious for CR*PPY electrical pedestal supplies that are even reversed polarity sometimes (HOT CHASSIS), when your dogs step off of the last step to the ground, they get ZAPPED!

I strongly suggest a polarity / ground detector tool (cheap at Lowe's)! Plug it into the 15 amp side of the pedestal and check for all 3 green lights, even before you go to "Surge Protected" shore power.

Good Luck, Go for 5 Point Majors, and CDX!!!!
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Old 11-25-2018, 03:23 PM   #15
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In a "prior life", I bred Dachshunds, and was an all breed handler. I also bred and showed Morgan Horses, for 20 +/- years. I spent a lot of time in "Temporary" shore power sites, at fairgrounds from Nova Scotia to Minneapolis, and points south as far as Orlando

"Fairgrounds" are notorious for CR*PPY electrical pedestal supplies that are even reversed polarity sometimes (HOT CHASSIS), when your dogs step off of the last step to the ground, they get ZAPPED!

I strongly suggest a polarity / ground detector tool (cheap at Lowe's)! Plug it into the 15 amp side of the pedestal and check for all 3 green lights, even before you go to "Surge Protected" shore power.

Good Luck, Go for 5 Point Majors, and CDX!!!!
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Old 11-25-2018, 04:37 PM   #16
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SurgeGuard, 30 amp, portable is what we use. It was an easy decision to make, that is, purchasing and using it.

Sure, it cost a couple of hundred dollars, but that is cheaper than having to replace all the electrical components (A/C, AC-DC converter, microwave, hot water heater, TVs (two), refrigerator, radio, blu-Ray and DVD players, solar system components, if installed, and 40+ lights) throughout the RV. Not to mention the potential for injury or loss of life which could occur due to mid-wired or damaged campground electric pedestals and/or supporting electrical grid.

In my mind, the question is ‘Why wouldn’t one use an electrical management system?’
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:46 PM   #17
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I had two 30 amp 5th wheels without one from 1997 to 2016 and never had an issue. When we purchase the 5th wheel in 2016 with 50 amp service the first thing I did was install one and the same when we purchase the 2018 TT with 50 amp service.

I install the hardwired PI with remotes.

With 50 amp service, if you loose neutral you put 240V across all your AC equipment, most of which burns out.
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Old 11-26-2018, 05:35 AM   #18
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To address the OPs original question:
" Is there truly a danger when not using one? " And to keep the thread police happy, I will say yes. The dangers are many and expensive as some have explained.
I went all in with the Hughes Autoformer. More money up front was cheap insurance in my opinion. This unit offers surge protection as well as a voltage increase when needed. Not being a certified electrician my best explanation as to how it works is, the unit has a coil assembly that "holds" power similar to a transformer on the power pole. When needed that power is distributed to the trailer maintaining even flow. I guess.
No the unit does not make me a "power hog". Please read the literature associated with this product before posting quips of that nature.
As for campgrounds that do not allow these units? Have not come across any yet and since the unit is out of sight I do not anticipate any problems unless park management is able to get a search warrant.
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Old 11-26-2018, 07:01 AM   #19
German Shepherd Guy
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Well I am totally convinced by all your responses. But it did bring up another interesting question, why doesn't Keystone offer it as a hard wired option right off of the line?


Also, I will occasionally leave dogs in the unit while I am off showing others and if the unit senses low voltage will it take me off line? In other words will my AC quit?



Seems like from the experience levels here that Keystone should form an advisory council of long time RV'ers to suggest some modifications. I do not mind the expense of adding a unit but it would have been nice to option it in from the git go. I think I will let my RV dealer know of this discussion and suggest maybe the dealership offer a hardwired version as an add-on option before the units leave the lot. A good salesman could easily make the case for it as you guys have made to me. I mean I was sold quickly on it and will have one in hand before the first outing in March.
Again Thanks to everyone for setting me straight. You all are the best!
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Old 11-26-2018, 07:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laredo Tugger View Post
To address the OPs original question:
" Is there truly a danger when not using one? " And to keep the thread police happy, I will say yes. The dangers are many and expensive as some have explained.
I went all in with the Hughes Autoformer. More money up front was cheap insurance in my opinion. This unit offers surge protection as well as a voltage increase when needed. Not being a certified electrician my best explanation as to how it works is, the unit has a coil assembly that "holds" power similar to a transformer on the power pole. When needed that power is distributed to the trailer maintaining even flow. I guess.
No the unit does not make me a "power hog". Please read the literature associated with this product before posting quips of that nature.
As for campgrounds that do not allow these units? Have not come across any yet and since the unit is out of sight I do not anticipate any problems unless park management is able to get a search warrant.
RMc
Its early and only 1 cup of coffee so far, but I'm totally confused by this post. Just trying to understand.
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